An interesting tidbit in the Talking Points Memo article on the decision by King & Spalding to drop out of the DOMA defense case. From Brian Beutler comes this bit of reportingon the role megacorp Coca-Cola may have played:
As public relations debacles go, this was a doozy. But the firm must have calculated that the alternative would have been worse. In the intervening week, a series of public and behind-the-scenes developments made it clear that the firm would suffer recriminations for defending what many of its top clients and future recruits — not to mention gay rights advocates — consider to be an anti-gay law.Sources with knowledge of the backlash confirm that one of King & Spalding’s top clients, Coca Cola, also based in Atlanta, directly intervened to press the firm to extricate itself from the case.
Coke expressing displeasure may well have put a chilling effect on K&S’s enthusiasm for the DOMA case and the effect it might have on the objectively-measured diversity rating of the firm and their fiscal bottom line.
K&S “ranks relatively low in the number of minority attorneys.” However K&S received some bonus points for including:
not just racial minorities but the disabled community and gays and lesbians, as well as mentoring, minority partnering programs and even support systems for new parents.
In other words, the very same LGBT diversity K&S crows proudly about on their website may well have helped compensate in 2009 for their unremarkable racial diversity and deliver this 2009 honor from Coke.
Is “gays and lesbians” equal to LGBT diversity?
How many trans attorneys (no, not lesbians with short hair and who ritualistically back HRC when they creatively find new ways to countenance substantive trans exclusion; I mean actual trans people who have actually transitioned – and not just trans men, but trans women) does this law firm have?
I’ll be up front here: I don’t actually know, but…
John Davidson of the LGBT organization Lambda Legal was quoted in Huffington Post saying their group would be reconsidering their future partnership with the firm, and that “I think it’s going to hurt them in their recruiting of future lawyers.”
It’s also likely their continued defense would threaten their retention of their current LGBT employees.
I’m willing to bet that the use of “LGBT” here is improper.